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China beefs up support for medical waste disposal to curb virus spread

Updated: Feb 13,2020 08:24 PM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China's environmental watchdog has mobilized efforts to strengthen the medical waste disposal capacity in Central China's Hubei province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment pledged further measures on Feb 13 to leave no medical waste untreated in an effort to contain environmental risks brought by the virus.

Confronted with the huge demand for the disposal of potentially contagious medical waste, the ministry had mobilized 23 mobile disposal units to Wuhan, Xiaogan, Huanggang and other cities hardest hit by the epidemic by Feb 11 with 10 more about to leave for Wuhan as well.

To accelerate the transportation of medical waste, the ministry has arranged for the delivery of 38 medical waste transport vehicles to Hubei province with another 25 to be delivered by Feb 17.

So far, all medical waste including those related to the novel strain of coronavirus has been disposed of on a daily basis, the ministry said.

Statistics showed that the medical waste disposal capacity in Hubei province stands at 317.5 metric tons per day, a notable increase of 137.5 tons per day from before the outbreak.

The disposal capacity in Wuhan has almost doubled, with the total amount of disposed medical waste reaching 1,123.8 tons since Jan 20.